September 8th, 2009
10:34 AM ET

Morning Buzz: The most dangerous job in Afghanistan?

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Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Anderson is reporting live in Afghanistan this week where he is embedded with troops on the frontlines of the fight against the Taliban. He went out on an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) patrol this morning and talked to a commanding officer who has the most dangerous job in Afghanistan – he’s the first to identify the IEDs as the patrols sweep through new areas. Anderson talks to this officer about what it’s like to be exposed to this type of danger day after day.

Anderson is joined by Michael Ware, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Peter Bergen who are also in the country reporting on what President Obama has called a “war of necessity.” Anderson is writing on the blog about the new strategy the Marines have developed to regain control of Helmand province. Check out his piece and photos from his reporting.

Michael Ware also went out with an Afghan police commander on patrol. He gets a firsthand look at what the police officer faces every night as he confronts the Taliban in his mission to secure the area. And in the middle of this war-torn country, Dr. Sanjay Gupta meets up with the only vascular surgeon for the entire country of Afghanistan. He is a long way from home, but it turns out he and Dr. Gupta both hail from Atlanta. This doctor explains how he found himself in Afghanistan trying to save lives in this battlefield hospital and the two find they have quite a lot in common, even in this world away from their hometown.

Also in Afghanistan today, a suicide attack on Kabul airport killed two – the Taliban claimed responsibility. And U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry urged Afghan President Hamid Karzai to allow the Afghanistan Independent Election Commission to thoroughly investigate vote fraud and determine which votes are accurate. More than 200,000 ballots have been tossed for fraud in the presidential vote.

President Obama gives his back-to-school speech today. After it was posted online yesterday, the main point of the address seemed to be – set goals, work hard and listen to your teachers and parents. Does he think his message will make a difference to kids around the country? More on the reaction to the address tonight.

And the President will speak to a joint session of Congress tomorrow night about health care reform. It’s pivotal time in the debate – Congress is now back in session and many conservatives are hesitant to support a public insurance option. And progressives are threatening to bring down the legislation if it does not contain the public option. Is there room for compromise? How have things changed since they left the Hill in July? We’ll have more on the outlook for the health care reform plan tonight.

What else are you following? Let us know and see you at 10 p.m. ET!

Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. mjBruce

    If Helmand providence provides 1/2 of all the opium etc to the world, maybe we need to bomb the hell out of that area. Surly alot of flat dusty land all over. See some growth, check it out and get rid of it...Stop their inflow...

    September 9, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  2. Eula

    About Obama speach .It is hard to beleive some parent refuse to let their children attent school today,because of his speach.How can we allow our children to be free thinker,if we don't hear other point of view.Race had nothing to do with it"someone said.When you hear that,usually race has everything to do with it. It was a good speach.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:30 am |
  3. Debbie

    Anderson Cooper, Why don't you tell the enemy more information about our strategy in Afghanistan. You told us how our US Soldiers are not going to be out in Humvee's they are going to be on foot talking to the people. What else are they going to do and where are they going to be exactly. Why, don't you give them all of our military plans.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  4. Annie Kate

    I hope Anderson is very very careful on that IED hunting trip – not so long ago an embedded reporter was seriously injured by an IED that exploded and killed the rest of the soldiers she was with. I think on this one Anderson needs more than a helmet!

    If we stay until this war is over I wonder if there will be a organized effort to go through the country and find the remaining IEDs and disable them. I'd hate to think of them still there, exploding and killing people when peace is supposedly there.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  5. Michelle Johnson, Lomita, CA

    The first night from Afghanistan was interesting, especially footage of the Afghan civilians and how the U.S. troops help and protect them. Thank you for the positive coverage and only minimal violence. I am looking forward to tonight. I enjoyed Erica's anchoring. The show really moves-lots of energy. A relief that the military took Anderson to a relatively safe area. Good stories wait to be told in the safe places. CNN, please keep him away from danger, including hidden explosives. He is a very special reporter and person.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  6. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Good Afternoon Eliza

    The in depth coverage has been great i hope everyone stays safe down there it's very unstable environment.The officer who lives this danger everyday is so brave i look forward to this story tonight they are so brave my prayers go out to them for their well being .

    Michelle D.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  7. Vicky, Ottawa

    Those IED's are the worst. Hope Anderson was wearing his helmet., as in most pictures he's without his helmet! This is extremely dangerous work. We've had many Canadian soldiers killed by IED's in southern Afghanistan, and, sadly, two more Canadian soldiers were killed in the past few days in Kandahar province. One was a commander in charge of identifying and disarming IED's, and he may have been targeted because of this. Thanks for the coverage of Afghanistan... I know your American viewers are looking for information about US soldiers, rather than NATO soldiers, but I think the Canadians are glad of the support in the south.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:16 pm |